Speaking after making the announcement, the Minister said: “Each year my Department makes available student support funds to the local higher education institutions for distribution to students who can demonstrate genuine financial hardship. I recognise the cost of living crisis is having an additional impact on many student households and students are facing increased financial pressures. In recognition of this, I am therefore pleased to be able to announce that for 2022/23 additional funding of £2.8 million will be provided through the Higher Education Student Support Funds to help those students who encounter financial hardship during the course of their studies.
“Student Support Funds are administered on behalf of my Department by the five higher education institutions here in Northern Ireland and each institution is responsible for assessing students’ needs and issuing support."
The Minister added: “I would encourage anyone who feels they may be eligible for additional support to contact their higher education institution to determine their eligibility. For example you may be able to receive support for help with living costs that are not already covered by other grants, or emergency payments to cover unexpected financial crises or exceptional costs – such as repairs to household equipment or if you are thinking of giving up your course because of financial problems and need financial help to keep studying.”